The Crack Caledonian “Flyers” Which Work the Scottish Section of the West Coast Route
THE 10 AM GLASGOW-
AS mentioned in a previous chapter, traffic between London and Scottish points, flowing over the West Coast route, runs via Carlisle. This city indicates the northernmost limit of the main line of the London and North Western Railway. Between the Border and Scottish points the trains are handled by the Caledonian Railway, a system which has achieved a unique fame from the expeditious working of the trains over difficult stretches of its system.
The express business of the main lines of the Caledonian Railway may be divided broadly into two classes. The first comprises the Scottish sections of the West Coast traffic, in conjunction with the London and North Western Railway; the second consists of the Caledonian express service proper between Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and Aberdeen.
The first named are represented by the up and down Scottish crack flyers of the West Coast route, or, as they are now known colloquially, “The White Trains”, from the fact that the upper parts of the coaches are painted externally in white and gold. These trains are among the finest that this country can show in point of comfort, luxury, and up-
Taking the up trains first, the day express leaves Glasgow at 10.0 am and Edinburgh five minutes later. These trains run every day, Sundays excepted, throughout the year, although there is a slight modification in their operation according to the seasons. In the winter the Glasgow and Edinburgh sections meet at Carstairs, and run thence to London intact, but during the summer months they are run independently as far as Crewe, and from that point as one train to London. The number of coaches in each section is 10 from Glasgow, and 11 from Edinburgh, including through carriages from Glasgow to Bristol, Birmingham and London, and to Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and London from Edinburgh.
The weight of each train upon leaving its Scottish stations is 328 and 356 tons respectively. They are handled by the heaviest type of superheated locomotives of the 4-
The afternoon train leaving Glasgow at 2.0 pm, while not putting up such high speeds, is also a notable flyer. The average composition of the train is nine coaches, representing a total unloaded weight of about 300 tons. It is likewise hauled by the “Cardean” 4-
In the reverse direction the 10.0 am express out of London reaches Carlisle at 4 pm, covering the 299 miles in 6 hours, an average of 49·83 miles per hour. Being the sister train to the 10 o’clock down, it runs daily, except Sundays, all the year round, is rostered with 10 coaches, representing an unloaded weight of 328 tons, and makes a non-
In addition to the foregoing all-
ONE OF THE FAMOUS CALEDONIAN FLYERS READY FOR ITS RUN
Fifteen minutes later the Perth and Aberdeen tourist sleeping saloon express leaves the Metropolis every night throughout the year, except on Saturdays during the summer months, and Saturday and Sunday nights during the remaining nine months. The Aberdeen complement averages six cars, but as frequently there are many additional special vehicles, the total unloaded weight of the train may be taken at well over 300 tons. During the height of the season the train is run in duplicate, the first portion of six vehicles being for Aberdeen only, and it runs from London to Carlisle with but two stops. Here a 4-
As a matter of fact these records are far more remarkable than they appear on paper. The severity of the gradients is a great deterrent to high speed, because, in addition to the negotiation of the Beattock-
Possibly the finest speed achievement recorded by the Caledonian engines is the down Postal express, leaving London at 8.30 pm and Carlisle at 2.54 am. It is a daily train -
While the foregoing flyers worked by the Caledonian Railway are possibly the most familiar to long-
The composition of the Glasgow portion is generally four 65-
The afternoon corridor express is another first-
Then there are the residential expresses such as the “Strathearn”, running between St. Fillans, Glasgow, and Edinburgh in the morning, and between the latter two cities and Crieff in the afternoon; the “Stirling and Ben Ledi”; and the “Tinto”, running between Moffat, Peebles, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. The “Strathearn” on the up journey makes an average of 38·85 miles per hour over the 68 125 miles between St. Lilians and Glasgow, with a maximum average of 45-
THE 2 PM GLASGOW-
[From Part 16 of Railway Wonders of the World by Frederick A. Talbot, 1913]